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Thread: U.S. Military's 'New' 6.8 Caliber Round ?

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    U.S. Military's 'New' 6.8 Caliber Round ?

    Hello Folks, We have all recently noted the various news reports concerning the U.S. Military's 'pending' adoption of an 6.8 Caliber projectile / cartridge for use by our forces.
    MY QUESTION IS; Is the 6.8 caliber round they're referring to the 'old', circa 2005 or so 6.8 SPC Load, or something new entirely ? Personally, I feel the original 6.8 SPC was, & remains an excellent choice for short to medium+ range infantry engagements. ( In fact, I thought so highly of the 6.8 SPC load that I purchased an Stag Arms M-5, along with a 500 rd case of Hornandy's 110 gr. TAP loads, divided equally between their Standard TAP & Urban TAP varieties. ) If anyone knows for certain exactly which 6.8 Caliber variant will be chosen / adopted for further study, & or final issue, I will be very interested in hearing about it. Yes, there are other suitable candidates out there to choose from. But, for the interim, the 6.8 SPC Cartridge will fill it's intended mission quite well, provided we don't ask it to perform a role for which it wasn't intended.


    Best, dpast32

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    I believe that “they” are going for a .277 bore, but not necessarily 6.8SPC.

    I’m happy with 5.56.
    RLTW

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    “They eat tide pods also so what's your point?” Retrorevolver77

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpast32 View Post
    But, for the interim, the 6.8 SPC Cartridge will fill it's intended mission quite well, provided we don't ask it to perform a role for which it wasn't intended.
    In practical terms, for us, this makes sense. We have no crystal ball on which specific 6.8 the Army will finally select, or when they will do it. Also, we don't know whether the other services will adopt it either. From what I can see, the Marines are not yet on board.

    Bottom line: I wouldn't base any caliber selection today on the fact that the Army is talking about moving to some type of 6.8. Even the article suggest 5.56 is still going to be around for a long time. As your OP implies, I agree best thing to do for us to do is figure out functionally what we need to do with your rifle, and base the caliber decision around that. Currently I'm considering upgrading my AR's by adding an upper that meets hunting requirements for medium game in my state (at least .243). First I considered the platform issue, moving to AR10 vs staying with all AR15. In the end because of extra weight, cost, the nonstandard/proprietary nature of AR10's, and finally the extra recoil, I decided to stay with AR15 platform. Most likely I'll go with one of the three leading options that has a lot of factory loads and parts available: .300 BO, 6.8 SPC II, or 6.5 G, leaning toward the last. Not because it'll make any difference over say 6.8 loads for hunting within 300 yards. But only because I like 6.5G ballistics for longer range target shooting--gives a little more flexibility with the caliber.

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    Not the 6.8 SPC, I believe they gave the competitors performance quidelines and will be providing the bullets only, I found this in the comments of the linked article:

    "People see "6.8mm" and just assume that it will be the SPC. The Army is basically leaving the cartridge case design to the manufacturers, as long as it uses the government-designed projectile and meets the thresholds for velocity and weight. The velocity threshold is reportedly somewhere over 3,000 fps with a ~135gr projectile."
    “The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack7.62 View Post
    The velocity threshold is reportedly somewhere over 3,000 fps with a ~135gr projectile."
    .270WSM is going to be super awesome for the great Moose eradication of 2025 after we conquer Canadia.
    RLTW

    “That is why there isn't an AK chart.” -SteyrAUG
    “They eat tide pods also so what's your point?” Retrorevolver77

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    Yeah I had some doubt about the 3000 fps, after some more searching it looks like it will be in the 2800-2900 range.
    “The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

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    135gr at 3000 fps.....necked-down 7.62 NATO?

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    It will need to have powder capacity equivalent to 7.62 but another requirement is that it be 20 % lighter, I would not be surprised to see a cased telescoped cartridge come out of this. I also saw somewhere it needs to penetrate class IV body armor at 600 meters, not sure how realistic the whole thing is.
    “The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

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    I've seen and held some of the submission competitors' cartridges.

    They range from hybrid polymer/alloy .270 WSM to .270-08 (SiG), to an old school brass cased wildcat.

    They have as much in common with 6.8 SPC as .300 RUM has with .30-30 Winchester.

    The initial desired performance was a .277" 125gr EPR going 3400-3500fps from a 16" barrel.

    Then they changed the requirement to 3200fps from a 14.5" barrel but with a 135gr EPR.

    Then they shifted to 3100fps from a 13" barrel pushing the 135gr EPR.

    I see this fiasco in the same vein as the 1960s SPIW, 1970s 6mm SAW (actually a good cartridge), 1980s Advanced Combat Rifle (ACR), 1990s OICW, 2000s XM8, the recent 7.62 NATO ISCR abortion, 2000s LSAT (actually a great platform and cartridge system, albeit with some challenges) and now this.

    I do suspect that the NGSW SAW variant might get some traction, but if they chamber it in a cartridge as large as or larger than 7.62 NATO, they haven't learned a thing.

    The entire premise of the program is based on the idea that dismounted US Infantry soldiers will be engaged in intermediate and long range combat with body armor-clad Russians and Chinese.

    Dismounted Infantry in the US are not used in that capacity and have not been involved in anything close to it since 1953, well before we had air superiority, and now air dominance.

    Dismounted Infantry have been extensively and almost exclusively engaged in Counter Insurgency (COIN) and Low Intensity Conflict since 1965, including the Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

    We deal with organized threat motorized infantry units using our air power, armor, artillery, organic CAS, and USAF/USN CAS. If you want an example of how to deal with a conventional motorized/armored battle group, look at February 2018 in Syria.

    What this proposed 80,000-100,000psi NGSW cartridge will do for dismounted Infantry is add insane soldier's load bulk in excess of the basic load for the M14 rifle back in the late 1950s/early 1960s, before that folly was recognized and replaced with the M16 and the 5.56x45mm cartridge.

    It's almost as if someone high up at Department of the Army got a crazy idea in their heads that we need to defeat Russian body armor at 600m in some type of fantastical battle, where commanders have failed every step of the MDMP, and committed dismounted infantry against each other in a Napoleonic stand-off in open terrain somewhere on a terrain model that represents nowhere.

    In this pipe dream, all organic and slice direct and indirect fire assets including:

    * 81s
    * 105s with Excalibur PGMs
    * M-1A2 MBTs
    * Bradleys
    * MQ-9s armed with AGM-114s and SDBs
    * AH-64Es armed with AGM-114s, TALON LGRs, & 30mm chain gun
    * F-15Es/A-10Cs/F-16Cs with LITENING Targeting pods and Link-16
    * F-35s

    ...are not available for some reason. Nope, Joe is on his own, facing down hordes of Russians wearing armor (who will be motorized with lots of weapons that make big boom booms, including thermobaric RPGs, main guns, ATGMs, RPGs, heavy machine-guns, mortars, etc.).

    It really makes me question the decision-making process behind all of this. I can see pushing the industry to get away from the limitations of World War II-era metallurgy and late-1800s metallic cartridge technology, but the premise for the NGSW carbine seems to defy everything we've learned about dismounted infantry service rifle realities in the last century.
    Last edited by LRRPF52; 07-02-19 at 21:27.

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